Feb. 16, 2002
TEMPE, Ariz. - In front of more than 250 fans at Mona Plummer Aquatic Center, Arizona State's No. 7 men's swimming and diving squad defeated No. 8 Arizona, 171.5-128.5, earning their sixth win over the Wildcats in the last seven years, Saturday. The Sun Devils completed their dual season with a 6-3 record, while Arizona dropped to 3-5.
While the Wildcats took both diving events, ASU claimed first-place points in nine of 14 swimming events, including both relays. In fact, the Sun Devils got an extra boost in the scoring when Arizona's top two relay squads were disqualified in the opening event of the meet, the 200-yard medley relay.
But the spotlight was on the final event of the meet, the 200y freestyle relay, where Arizona came in with the fastest collegiate time in the nation this year, followed by ASU in the No. 2 spot. Arizona's Roland Schoeman took the Wildcats out in 19.78, compared to Simon MacDonald's opening leg of 20.33 for ASU. But in the second leg, ASU junior Justin Mathias chased down Arizona's Eric LaFleur to give ASU a 39.96 to 40.21 edge at the halfway point. Junior Bobby Zaabadich and sophomore Nick Brunelli never relinquished ASU's lead, as the Sun Devils touched in 1:19.70, besting Arizona's 1:20.17 by almost half a second.
ASU also demonstrated its depth in the sprints in the 50y free. Schoeman gave UA first-place points in 19.74, but Brunelli (20.12), Zaabadich (20.12) and Mathias (20:43) grabbed the next three spots for the Sun Devils.
The Sun Devils had a pair of double-winners Saturday afternoon. Senior Gavin Meadows, one of five men making their final home appearances, led freshman Derek Miller (9:22.37) to a one-two finish in the 1000y free with a time of 9:21.74 and then claimed the 500y free in 4:30.06. Meanwhile, Ahmed Hussein raced to victories in the 100y (49.38) and 200y backstroke (1:45.97), followed each time by teammate Christian Harcsas (100 back: 49.49, 200 back 1:46.38).
Like Meadows, MacDonald also closed out his Sun Devil dual career with an individual win, touching the wall in the 100y butterfly in 49.12 to edge UA's Jeff Dash at 49.15. Fellow senior Bo West finished runner-up to teammate Anders Lyrbring (1:39.42) in the 200y free with a time of 1:39.96. Mike Dowling placed fourth in the 500y free (4:35.65) and fifth in the 1000y free (9,32.07), and Christian Rasmussen placed sixth in the 200y breaststroke in the final home meets of their ASU careers.
It's now on to the post-season, where ASU's diving contingent will start things off with their portion of the Pac-10 Championships, February 28 through March 2 from Tucson, Ariz. The men's swimming portion from Long Beach, Calif, is scheduled for March 7-9.